Although I already knew the answer, I asked still asked Ian what he likes to do with his hands. A loaded question to ask a 17-year-old homeschooled boy. “I like to create stuff. Anything.” At the young age of 14, Ian began to make rings in the family wood shop. Like most teenage boys these days, Ian taught himself the craft by watching videos on YouTube.
He admits that at first his rings were clunky and “too sharp around the edges,” but now he has it figured out enough to create his own brand of jewelry that he sells on Etsy to people all around the world. I could go on and on about all the different styles, but I would invite you to check out his Instagram page, his YouTube channel or shop for something he made at his Etsy store.
More than a confident and talkative teenager, Ian is also very contemplative. There is a gentleness in him despite his lumbering 6’3” stature. He seems to be truly interested in learning things. And one of the ways he likes to do that is by...you guessed it, talking to others.
When I asked Ian what he wanted people to know about him after he left a party, he thought for a moment and then smiled and said, “I just want them to know that I care about them and what they are doing.” And when I asked him to describe what a good deed meant to him, Ian said, “Doing something that makes someone else’s life easier, and more enjoyable, more positive.”
If you had met him personally like I did, you might have come to the same conclusion I did. This is no ordinary human, or teenager. For starters, he left his phone in the car. He actually enjoys engaging in conversation. And he has no problem speaking for himself.
But there’s more to know about a person. So here are a few more things I learned that I thought you’d find interesting about him.
He prefers creamy peanut butter over chunky, “Creamy any day. It’s better. I think it’s made differently.” He also thinks soup is a meal. Yes, we disagreed on this. But he made an excellent argument for his decision, “You eat it. You get full.”
When asked where is one place that you have visited that you’d never go back to, he told me “that trailer we stayed in at the Ocala National Park. It was sticky, covered in dog hair, and gross.” But can I trust this to be true? After all, Ian said his favorite lie is “telling people I’m not doing anything, just to dodge their question.”
Ian is a ring maker, a great listener, and a well rounded human who I got the pleasure to spend two hours with. In that time I learned we had so much more in common than just a name. We share a creative spirit, and struggle with an inquisitive mind that is always searching for something greater to learn or do. We also have this moment. May there come a time when we can share more like this.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”